Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Bad News Continues...

Bad news continues for seriously-ill Nelson teenager Cody Walsh, who has suffered further medical problems, while a third tin containing money to go towards his life-saving operation has been stolen.
Cody, 16, has a rare bowel condition that will kill him in three to five years if he does not get an operation in Toronto, Canada, that is expected to cost close to $1,000,000. His mother Natalie Cozens said the tube that fed a glucose solution directly into his bloodstream fell out over the weekend, leaving his potassium levels "dangerously low". Cody, who was 60kg before he became ill in September, had lost 15kg, with three of those coming off over the weekend, she said. Cody said he met Nelson Hospital general surgeon Alf Deacon Thursday and it was decided to try to perform an operation in New Zealand that would help keep his liver intact before the eventual transplant.
He wanted to get the Canadian transplant performed as soon as possible. Another meeting was planned for today to get a clearer idea of their options. But Dr Deacon previously told the Nelson Mail that Nelson Marlborough District Health Board funding for the Toronto operation wouldn't be considered until Cody had liver failure - a result of the tube feeding - which wasn't expected for three to five years. He said this week it was "very uncommon" for the feeding line to fall out and the Canada operation had not been decided on yet. Health board general manager of planning and funding Dr Sharon Kletchko said the board had already begun the planning process that meant, if it was decided that Cody could get a transplant, the board would be as prepared as possible to help with funding. First it had to compile technical and clinical information and form an advisory committee to look at various issues associated with the transplant. Experts would then perform a benefit analysis of the operation, including looking at the risks, and the findings would be shown to the health board.
Adding to frustrations, last week a fundraising tin holding about $50 in donations towards his operation was stolen from the Verdict bar in central Nelson and last month other tins, holding an estimated $1500 in total, were stolen from the Turf and the Stables bars. Family friend Nyle Sunderland, who has been spearheading the fundraising effort, said the tins - which were in Shooters, Murfz Lunch Bar, Verdict, the Stables, the Victory Square pub, the Grumpy Mole and Stoke's Turf Hotel - were now being chained down to avoid further thefts.

Donations can also be made to the Cody Walsh Transplant Fund at any Westpac branch.

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